Senate Construction Celebrates 30th Anniversary
When Bob France came to Boston his goal was to become a professional hockey player. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) his career was cut short after 3 ½ years with the Northeastern Huskies. Bob, however, had prepared for life outside the rink by studying Civil Engineering and he quickly found a passion for construction. After working with many great mentors early in his construction career, Bob founded Senate Construction in 1990, when he was just 35 years old. Over the past 3 decades, Senate has honed its skills in all facets of design and construction and handled projects ranging from small renovations to large-scale new construction. As a design/build firm the team also works with clients on-site selection and permitting. Throughout this diverse experience, Bob & the Senate Team saw their business with pre-engineered buildings growing. About 4 years ago, with this in mind and the continued growth of e-commerce Bob decided to embrace his firm’s niche in the pre-engineered building market. He is now out to educate the industry on the many benefits of this type of construction.
Senate’s expertise in the field of pre-engineered buildings comes after working on numerous, and sizable projects across varying sectors. Through this experience Senate became a certified Butler Builder, Butler as Bob explained to us is the “Cadillac” of pre-engineered buildings. Bob aims to change the perception of these buildings from “tin cans” to varied structures that can accommodate many uses and still offer attractive end results. A quick look through Senate’s building history and the Butler catalog provides a wide range of projects including of course warehouse and manufacturing facilities but also office buildings, educational facilities, and athletic and entertainment centers. Any type of facade can be applied to a pre-engineering building for an architecturally attractive finished product. Senate also knows that utilizing pre-engineered buildings can save a client significant time and money. On average working with a pre-engineered structure can save around 20% on the cost of steel and 20% on a project timeline.
In 2016 Senate was tasked with their largest project to date, a 600,000+ square foot distribution center in Worcester, MA. Senate served as both the Construction Manager & Design-Builder for this mammoth project. Working with Butler they received the building within 16 weeks and had the shell complete in just 5 months allowing for the tenant to begin the install of their automated equipment. This building is ideally positioned to serve logistics, light manufacturing, assembly, and warehouse companies looking for space with access to all of New England. Steve Goodman, Founding Partners at GFI Partners, the developer of the project discussed his positive experience working with the Senate Team. “Senate’s leadership was instrumental in keeping the project on schedule and budget. Every construction project comes with surprises and challenges and Senate never let speedbumps get in the way of progress. Senate’s team tackled every issue head-on, collaboratively problem solving with the rest of the team. They never wasted time; they got things done and that is invaluable for a successful construction project.”
An ariel view of the massive 600,000+ square foot distribution center in Worcester, MA.
Senate’s project history also includes the creation of a “robotic pharmacy”, the first of its kind for BMC along with the expansion of office, manufacturing, and distribution space for a leading life-science company. Senate is currently working on a new JEEP dealership in Portsmouth NH, and an Essential Service Supply Chain warehouse 73,000 s.f. (both examples of the diverse use case options for the pre-engineering structures). Senate also advises clients on large land purchases outside of Boston to ensure the land they are buying is suitable for planned development uses. Utilizing his civil engineering background Bob also works with clients through the often difficult, municipal approvals process.
Throughout the past 30 years, Bob France and the Senate team have gained a reputation for quality, professionalism, and integrity. As Bob detailed to us on a recent call, he sees the construction industry aiming at their target and often, despite best intentions, the arrow missing the bullseye. Senate’s strategy is to identify the clients’ targeted budget and functionality goals and provide the means and methods to accomplish them. With a renewed focus on pre-engineered buildings sourced from the best in the business, Butler Buildings, Senate will continue to offer clients cost-effective, time-saving solutions for their design-build and construction management needs. Senate’s goal for the next 30 years and beyond as Bob France simply stated “is to deliver to our clients a building that improves their bottom line and deliver it in the most efficient way possible.”